Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Last Minute Holiday Marketplace

Last minute gift buying panic was last weekend at The Western New York Book Arts Center downtown. As per usual, it was an incredible event with a number of really amazing vendors including my dear friends Amy Greenan and Jan Nagle (Lily Pickford) seen below.

The best parts of these events is always, always the people. For example (I *think* it's safe to tell this story now) a very kind man and his wife stopped by my table and we got to chatting. While she went off shopping he came back to buy one of my hand-stitched heart cards to give her on their anniversary, which he stealthily hid inside a folded newspaper. He told me the cutest story about their getting married in a snow storm, I hope she loved the card and that they had a wonderful anniversary! (And more importantly that I didn't ruin the surprise....)

It also led to some really sweet write ups that I wanted to share. This one from Christa Penner and this one written by the Executive Director of Buffalo First for Buffalo Rising.

Now that the holidays are behind us I plan to first, take a deep breath and get a good night's sleep and then get to work! I'm going to do some more printing and I've got lots of newly felted sweaters to play with... So, more from me soon!

Monday, December 27, 2010

Friday, December 3, 2010

Handmade Family Reunion

Last weekend was Second Storie Indie Market and as always it was a wonderful and overwhelming event. I really can't say enough nice things about this event and the gals who put it on. They really go the extra mile to make it an amazing event not just for the shoppers but for the vendors too!

My table was stationed next to the wonderful Dan Varenka of Hey Buddy! It was as much fun as it was incredibly dangerous... I seem to be addicted to his prints. I did manage to shop not JUST for myself this time though. Of course I can't reveal what just yet!

My sincerest thanks to everyone who stopped by to say hello. The best part of making is always the sharing part! I hope you are enjoying my items as much as I enjoyed making them!

I never seem to get a chance to take as many photos as I'd like- so I'd like to share some from the other vendors as well.

From Pistachio Press

From Infinknit

From Humunku

Are you on facebook?

Of course you are! Now, Crude Crafts is too. Stop by my facebook page and "like" me to follow along with events and updates. Thanks, friends!

Friday, November 26, 2010

Come visit me at Second Storie

second storie

indie market 2010

Saturday, November 27, 11am-5pm

& Sunday, November 28, 11am-4pm

Visual Studies Workshop, 31 Prince Street, Rochester, NY

admission is free

Shop handmade for the holiday!

housewares • soft toys • screen prints • letterpress
ceramics • knits • decals • jewelry • clothing • and more

for more information visit:

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Mass Appeal

Wow, time flies. It feels like Mass Appeal just happened, when in reality it was almost 3 weeks ago! The event was amazing, and I really have to hand it to Erin Habes and all the other organizers- I walked out to watch the show and was absolutely blown away.

As I mentioned before, I participated in this year's Wearable Art portion of the show. I was paired with Campus Wheelworks and asked to create an outfit for a model from whatever the store might have on hand. This is what I came up with (photos by the amazing Lukia Costello):

The skirt, belt and accessories are all hand-stitched rubber inner tubes. The shirt was a discarded old t-shirt that I sized down and made into a fun tank with a sticker applique.

I had a lot of people asking about how the belt was constructed- so I took a few detail shots of it.

I cut off the air valves from the inner tubes and layered them on top of one another and then hand stitched them together. I added an extra piece of tubing behind it to make it a little more durable, cut it down to size, hemmed the ends and added a couple hook and eyes for the closure.

I must admit the process of this event, as a designer was really tough. I'm not accustomed to making things for a runway and so questions about make up and styling were a little hard for me to grasp. That added with the troubles I had locking down a model and supplies from the store made me rather stressed. But, once I stood there on the sidelines watching the models walk the runway- I couldn't wait for next year, and immediately started imagining what I would make.. which I of course won't reveal just yet.....!

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Salt City Recap + Mass Appeal!

Wow, what a couple of weeks its been.

We just finished Midterms and my students are giving me those looks that seem to say "I may implode before the semester is over." I understand their plight, but try to gently remind them that its simply the facts of life- whether in school or not, this is how it will be, pretty much for life. So its best to learn to time manage right now.

Not that I'm always so good at that myself mind you. I tell them to do what I do. Make calendars, make lists and heed the advice of Anne Lamott - just take it "Bird by Bird."

Salt City Urban Market was awesome. The gals that run it are some of the nicest you could ever hope to meet, coming around asking if anyone needed anything, breaks, change, food etc... very cool. I didn't get a chance to take any of my own photos so I took a couple from my fabulous friend Rachael of Pistachio Press (seen below) who was also at the market:

Vicki Hartman Ceramics:

Second Seed:
Right now, I'm gearing up for tomorrow's Mass Appeal. This is an annual fundraiser for the Elmwood Village Association, several local artists, including me were asked to create "wearable art" for a special section of the show. We were each paired with a local business and given their "scrap" materials to construct a garment from (think Project Runway).

I was paired with Campus Wheelworks a local bike shop. My materials came down to largely a lot of scrap rubber inner tubes. Out of which I have hand sewn a mini skirt and hard core looking belt. I'm getting excited for the event (up until now it's mainly been a stressful experience!). I had the final fitting with my model yesterday and I think she's going to look great. I promise to take photos to share.

Or, if you happen to have $30 come on down and see it in person! Doors open @ 7 and the show starts @8!

Lafayette Ave Presbyterian Church
875 Elmwood Ave
Buffalo, NY 14222

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Antje Duvekot

In the midst of some personal life upsets and an overwhelming load of work I discovered an amazing musician - Antje Duvekot (Aunt-yuh Doo-va-kot).

Her songs had been sitting in my iTunes for awhile. A while ago a friend loaded new music in for me and I have only recently been getting around to listening to it.

This song, Dandelion, is the first track on her album "Big Dream Boulevard."

I am a little bit in love with her at the moment and her songs have been soothing during the course of a difficult and emotional week. They've become the soundtrack to the production of a ton of new work that will be on sale this Saturday for the Salt City Market.

I've been hearing wonderful things about the event and meeting and chatting with artists and crafters is always good for the soul, so I am thankful for such distractions. I'll post some in-process images tomorrow along with details on the event.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

A few things I believe

The last week saw some difficult moments, and it brought my attentions back to the little things that make my days easier. I thought that some of them may resonate with other folks and that I should share them. I hope that it makes you smile. Be well friends, thanks for reading these words.
  1. In the laughter of an old friend
  2. That nothing is as cute as when my cats roll on their backs and wiggle.
  3. In the good karma of a house full of friends
  4. In serious moments undercut with a well timed joke
  5. In a warm breeze when needed the most
  6. In serendipity
  7. In my father's "bus theory"
  8. Irish Whiskey/Coffee are very serious business
  9. In accidental intimacies
  10. That you are what you believe in.
  11. That you don’t choose who you love.
  12. That sex and laughter aren’t enough, but it’s a really good start.
  13. That small children laughing is the cure for melodrama
  14. playing in the puddles during a thunderstorm
  15. That my friends are right, I do make the best breakfasts: banana pancakes, tofu scram and curried pan friend potatoes
  16. cooking is better when its for friends
  17. That digital will never be as good as a traditional black and white print.
  18. That painting will never die.
  19. In wandering aimlessly in good company
  20. In being there for someone when it counts the most
  21. That I am still strong even when everyone else thinks I’m not.
  22. In playing pool even if when you’re bad at it.
  23. In crying it all out
  24. That there is seldom a day so bad that playing the song “brave the night” by the winter machine won’t take away at least some of the pain.
  25. There is nothing in the world so beautiful as the Cliffs of Mohr
  26. In the “you-get-it-too” moments
  27. In the healing powers of The Rolling Stones, Joni Mitchell, Van Morrison, Ani Difranco and all Live music
  28. In not needing to be drunk to dance
  29. That Joss Whedon is a genius
  30. In mindful conversation
  31. In helping others, politics be damned
  32. That white Christmas lights can make any place feel more cozy
  33. A late night conversation with a good friend
  34. In drawing in the dark, or at the cemetery
  35. That there is nothing wrong with my extreme emotional connection to my Dad’s old guitar, my Great Uncle’s lamp, my Grandmother’s pin, and the one letter my Mom let me have, that my father sent her just before they got married.
  36. In Reconnecting and Rekindling
  37. In learning to do it for yourself.
  38. That culture is not just recreation.
  39. In voting.
  40. That you can tell a lot about a person by their handshake and the way they hug.
  41. in “I can lift it by myself.”
  42. In a well made Tanquery and Tonic
  43. In reflected light
  44. In kissing with your eyes closed
  45. In love that lasts past Saturday night
  46. That people don’t change they just get old.
  47. That its noble to try and save a drowning man, but foolish to let him sink you too.
  48. In giving the benefit of the doubt
  49. In a second chance
  50. Trusting your gut
  51. Telling them you love them
  52. That birthday’s aren’t complete until there is cake.
  53. That you can know someone without having to hear them speak.
  54. That most often people say more with their eyes and gestures than with their words.
  55. That sometimes it’s best just to stop talking.
  56. That men and women aren’t from different planets.
  57. That sometimes not getting what you want is a stroke of luck.
  58. In being silent and letting your heart tell you what’s right.
  59. That nothing is ever that simple.
  60. That TV isn’t really the devil.
  61. In self-reliance
  62. In picking up your feet when you ride over the railroad track, making a wish on the first star and every time the clock reads “11:11”
  63. Seeking the beautiful in everyone
  64. In finding peace in my best-friend's signing voice, the purr of my cats and a hug from someone I love.
  65. In soy chai with a shot of espresso
  66. In nam-myoho-renge-kyo
  67. In rosemount shiraz and green and black's dark chocolate
  68. In tiny rituals
  69. In memoir's by Anais Nin and Paul Auster
  70. In gerber daises, preferably on my table
  71. In music you can feel in your guts
  72. In campfires, in summer or in the winter..
  73. In friends who you can not see or speak to for month's but still pick up with as if not a day had passed
  74. In knowing your family
  75. And in loving them anyway.

Monday, September 27, 2010

A treasury

I was featured in this lovely little treasury on Etsy of vendors from the upcoming Salt City Market in Syracuse this coming October. I'm really looking forward to the sale, the line up looks amazing and I always love meeting other crafters. Hope to see you there!

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

I found (hid) art

A fabulous new project invented by local artist and creator of the Buffalo Small Press Book Fair, Chris Fritton.

I hid art: "home of perpetual DIY treasure hunt"

The premise is simple. Make something, find a place to hide it. Photograph the spot, post it to the website with a few clues and wait to see who finds it. Or, as phrased by the creator himself:

"art should be made, art should be hidden, art should be found. the familiar should be made unique by virtue of its ability to conceal something incongruous. it’s the hiding, the covering, the embedding of an unknown animal in the heart of the ordinary that evokes the possibility of a handsome shift in perspective.

get out there. dig a hole for it. put it under something. tape it to the side of something. leave what is precious in the rain and hope that someone saves what you worked so hard on, what your hands touched, before it disintegrates. give them the directions. help them hold the thing you just held.

i hid art is the brainchild of buffalo, ny native chris fritton."

I just found the above handmade journal on Jersey St. The original post was of a spot I've walked by a million times so I knew I'd find it easily. But that didn't spoil the thrill in the least. I pulled onto that corner of the street, found one open parking spot, almost like it was waiting for me. Crossed to the spot, and there it was a little treasure just waiting for me.

I'm in the game now. I'm going to go hide something out here in Buffalo, so check the site for a post. In the meantime, this isn't just for Buffalo! There are many cities listed, so go see the site, get in the game and get your art out there. Besides, what fun is art making if you're the only one who ever gets to hold it?

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Ikea Hacker

I love this website. So many interesting ideas for re-purposing furniture. I particularly like this, since clearly it wouldn't have to be an ikea brand product. Such a sweet idea.

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Friday, August 6, 2010

Summer Melt

I missed the warmth last summer, it was just so cold, and appears mother nature intended to make up for that this year. I love the sunshine, but the heat and humidity has been melting my brain. That and my summertime under-employed state has left me rather listless, which is not good for the creative soul.

I have been able to produce a lot of small knitted pieces, like the one above! It's a small knitted flower pin, it measures about 2" around. I'm really excited about them. One of my main shop philosophies is to make as little waste as possible and these pins make use of all the little bits of yarn I've never been able to throw away! Very exciting. What do you think?

I also forced myself up to campus for some printing, but my broken sewing machine has meant all I have are pieces. I feel lost without my machine! Happily, I will have it back on Sunday and maybe I can work myself out of this funk. We will see.

In the meantime, some prints to share....

And the remains of my birthday party from last month. I decided to make myself some fun little flag garland and then couldn't bring myself to take it down!

Hope you're staying cool...

Friday, June 18, 2010

My Shop is OPEN for Business!

Hello friends,

I've got some exciting news. I FINALLY opened my Esty shop and stocked it with two new pillows. I will be adding items in the coming days so be sure to stop by and check it out: here.

As a special deal for all those who read this blog, until month's end leave me a comment with your email address and which item you would like and I will set up a reserved listing for you at 15% off AND a free tea-stained greeting card! Each card is one of a kind, but here is an example:

I'll be doing more printing this week and will be adding my sachets, more pillows, and a new series of hand-stitched fabric collage cards to the shop! Please check back with me soon and be sure to leave comments- I want to know what people think.

And on that note, a special thanks to those of you have been following my blog and leaving me comments thus far. It's nice to know someone is out there listening!

Enjoy your weekend and be sure to show your Dad some love this Father's Day. I know I will. I love you Dad!

Friday, June 4, 2010

Summer Weddings on a Budget

Maybe its the number of weddings I've found myself at lately, or (more than likely) a dear friend of mine who is currently saving up for a wedding that she's asked me to help plan, but I've been loving the amazing decorating ideas I've been finding in various blogs lately.

These were found through craftzine.

And this was from project wedding.

How cute! And so easily used for any celebratory occasion. I'm in the process of planning my 31st birthday this year and I am certain to use some of these ideas for it....

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Louise Bourgeois: December 25, 1911 - May 31, 2010

Monday one of the most amazing sculptors the world has seen died of a heart attack. Louise was easily one of my favorite artists, I have a file of images on my computer and a book on my shelf I thumb through frequently when stuck for an idea. At the age of 98, she remained one of the most interesting and relevant artists of these times.

I've heard tales of the Sunday Salon's she held at her home in Chelsea, they were said to be rather intense. A friend of mine attended one once, he said the understanding was that you were to bring her chocolate in exchange for her time and that the place was set up with a well-stocked bar, I imagine to offset the nerves of those in attendance.

The stories go that many leave in tears after one of her critiques but my friend said they got along just fine. His work is about desire, one of Louise's favorites, so go figure.

I never had the guts, or the time, to go myself. Part of me regrets that but another part of me knows that sometimes its better not to meet a hero. How could the person ever live up to the expectation? How would I feel if she hated my work? I could tell myself that at least it evoked a reaction from her, but I think I'm better off just not knowing.

It's hard to choose a favorite piece but I naturally gravitate toward her figurative pieces, the fiber work and drawings.

And this piece, Blind Man's Bluff,

which inspired a pivotal piece for me during graduate school: "I dreamed the fibroid's overwhelmed my body" latex and bedsheets, 2002.

Rest in Peace, Louise. You will be missed.

Thursday, May 6, 2010

missed connections

I was reminded today of how much I love this blog, missed connections. It is so sweet. Written by Sophie Blackall in Brooklyn, NY. She takes missed connections from various sites and turns them into illustrations. If you haven't before, you must go visit the site.

Sadly, my camera still won't turn on and given that today is the last day of classes and I have not yet found a summer job (*gasp*) I will have time to figure out what's wrong with it. I have borrowed a friends for now, and will post the images I have of my exhibition soon. If anyone has advice on camera repair please let me know!

Until soon.

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Indiscreet Objects: Opening Tomorrow!

Tomorrow is the opening for my new exhibition: Indiscreet Objects at the Olean Public Library Gallery located at 134 North 2nd Street in Olean, NY! The event runs from 3-5 pm and includes a screening on the work of Kiki Smith at 4pm.

I will post images of the completed exhibition soon. The above were taken during installation by the amazing Robert Taylor - who has been working for the gallery for years. My camera decided it doesn't want to turn on anymore (!!!) so until I figure out what's wrong I will be borrowing a friend's camera. Images soon.

I STRONGLY encourage any local artist to consider submitting work to the gallery- my experience with them has been nothing short of incredible. Everyone there is truly supportive and really believes in the role artist's play in society and its a wonderful feeling. Every artist deserves to feel supported in life- and this is one place the gives that feeling in spades.

Enjoy your weekend and the spring sunshine and flowers. I'll post again soon, promise.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Busy Bee!

Oh my, so much to do!

I have two more events this month and if you're in or around the area I hope you can come by!

One is a solo exhibition titled "Indiscreet Objects" that runs from April 17th - May 22 at the Olean Public Library, 134 North Second Street, Olean NY.

The reception takes place on April 25, 2010 from 3-5 p.m and will feature a short screening of the work of Kiki Smith (one of my major influences) at 4pm.

From the gallery release: "For her exhibition, Switzer will present fiber work in the form of stitched antique doilies, curtains, bed linens, and intimate apparel. Meticulously inscribed with representations of tumors and other images of disease, the delicate, familiar, and safe nature of the materials is transformed to elicit a sense of discomfort. The artist describes, "My practice lends itself to the obsessive; continually counting, measuring and recording, as I seek to elicit humor and exaggeration through gross fascination with the feminine dis-eased body. I seek out the rather mundane effect of illness on a person’s sense of self: the changes in day-to-day behavior, the monitoring of intake and output."

This event is free and open to the public. It's a drive for sure, but I would be grateful to anyone who can make it!

I also have a local event for those who can't make that drive. I've hung some new drawings (with a couple old favorites) at Rustbelt Books located at 202 Allen St here in Buffalo.

The work will be up until month's end and will conclude with a readings by Irene Sipos, Edric Mesmer, Geoffrey Gatza and Lisa Forrest on April 30th. Lisa will also be playing original songs accompanied by Sally Fehskens and Jonas Westbrook!

The evening starts at 7, and the readings will start promptly at 8 -- yes, I know this is Buffalo but we do mean 8! :)

I am really excited and flattered that such wonderful people have so willingly offered their time and talents to this event. Please come join us for a glass of wine and an evening of art, music and words (really, does it get much better?)

Hope to see your faces!